The Turk didn't get much time with the Sunshine Millions yesterday, as occasionally Turk marital obligations must be reckoned with. Dinner, wine and board games with some neighbors took precedent. That prevented the California races from being analyzed very deeply, but I had plenty of time to mull over the two Florida races I handicapped with very mixed results.
Race 8: Gulfstream, The Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf, 1 1/8 miles for 4 YOs and up.
No real surprises with Wild Promises. It was expected and predicted, so what do we do when we have such an overwhelming favorite who we believe will win? Well we can either sit on the sidelines or, in the Turk's case, try and find some longer odds to sneak in there for an exacta or tri.
I tied my boat to Zee Zee and Peach Flambe, the number 2 and 4 bettors favorites. Zee Zee menaced at the top of the stretch but she faded. Peach Flambe was a non factor. I discounted Elusive Lady's chances, but she ran a very good race with Alan Garcia up.
So what can we learn? Diving back into the PP, Elusive Lady's Trainer Kimmel has won 25% of the time in the second race back after a 180 day layoff. Not much to hang your hat on. I see a G3 winner who didn't win all last year. If I had to draw any conclusions, I always go back to current form is all that matters, and Elusive Lady and Julie Tuttle (with her own non descript PP)both raced in the past three weeks while the others were just getting their legs under them. I considered it while handicapping, but let it go. Everything is crystal clear the next day.
Race 10: Gulfstream, The Sunshine Millions Classic, 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 4 YOs and up.
I thought Delightful Kiss would run well, but it was asking alot to win from the 12 spot. What I really am kicking myself on is It's a Bird. Going back to my red flair pen PP notes I had scribbled "Closer. Extra Distance from the 1 Mile Hal Hopeful will help. I noted a nice 38% trainer win rate on dirt and that the horse had won 3 of last 12". A :47 and 4/5ths 4f bullet five days earlier was not missed. I had a B on this horse and again, it's always more obvious afterwards. The whole point of disecting post race is to learn. It's a Bird ran well exactly three weeks earlier and ran two nice works afterward, indicative of health and good current form. Current form, current form, current form.
I was happy for Dry Martini, and I'm glad to see the gelding back in Tagg's barn. Macho Again had a bad trip and wasn't where he needed to be for the stretch. Atoned might be a good example of a long layoff horse that just wasn't ready to go mentally the first time the gate opened. Current form, and or lack of, is just as much mental as it is phyiscal.
I'm going to go through the exercise of working backward from the race charts back to the PP for Santa Anita's Race 8 and 9. I wasn't surprised to see Leah's Secret or Georgie Boy win, but I'm going to do a bit of school work and see if I can make sense of the order of finish from the chart back to the PP. I'll be posting those this week.